Archive for the ‘ Interview ’ Category

Under Pressure: Director Stephen Wayne Mallett Talks Logic’s New Action-Packed First Person Shooter Music Video

In Logic‘s new video for the title track off of his highly anticipated Under Pressure album, the quickly rising Maryland emcee takes the viewer on a wild ride of danger and violence in the first person during the execution of a diamond heist. MTV called it a cross between a Quentin Tarantino film and the popular Call of Duty video games, while fans lit up the video’s comments section and social media about which video game they thought the visuals were reminiscent of.

Just several hours and at least 80,000 views (according to YouTube’s sometimes slow to update counter) after the thrilling visuals landed on the ‘net, I spoke with director, cinematographer and editor, Stephen Wayne Mallett, the humble 25-year-old head of the team of masterminds responsible for pulling off the dramatic video.

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Nothing Hurt: Rapper Jabee Talks “Stephanie,” Murs, Winning An Emmy & More

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Jabee puts on for Oklahoma City like none other. The emcee’s latest project, Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt dropped in December on Murs 3:16 label, and he’s spent the last several months touring the nation as well as gracing the stage at concerts and festivals in Oklahoma City as the face of hip hop in his hometown.

While in New York to work with Statik Selektah and handle other business, Jabee, a recent Emmy award-winner sat down with 2words The Top to discuss reuniting with the subject of his El-P-produced hit “Stephanie”, winning an Emmy award, the legendary rapper he counts as his biggest influence and more.

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Dual Threat: Producer/ Emcee Audible Doctor Talks Upcoming Projects, Sampling & More

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Audible Doctor is a beast with the mic and the production, laying the groundwork for 50 Cent’s “This Is Murder Not Music” and Joell Ortiz’s “Battle Cry“, as well as holding his own as an emcee on his own tracks assisted by the likes of Consequence, Bumpy Knuckles and Guilty Simpson.

The Brown Bag AllStar is dropping his self-produced “Can’t Keep The People Waiting” EP sometime in the next month or two, and the first few appetizers likely have fans of boom bap hip hop agreeing they can’t wait much longer for the main course. I caught up with Audible Doctor in his studio and discussed the project, what it is about a sample that catches his attention, and a recent close call that could have turned into a sampling nightmare.

Audible also shared the story of the first time he met his all-time favorite producer, and just days before Your Old Droog, once rumored to be Nas rhyming incognito, made his big reveal, AD scooped me on his own experience with Droog.

Watch the interview after the jump.

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Fueling Forever: Devine Carama Pushes The Power of Words Through Generations

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With album titles like No Child Left Behind, The Dream Walker, and his upcoming project, Believing in Foreverit’s easy to tell that Devine Carama’s music stands for more than simply putting slick metaphors together. But when you get to not only listen to his compositions, but also watch his actions, you realize that when he stands for something, he moves for it too.

Representing Lexington, Kentucky, Carama, in between releasing The Dream Walker in January and his upcoming effort in October, set up a not-for-profit foundation called “Believing In Forever” with the goal of providing positive outlets for children. Last week he gave away two separate $250 back-to-school scholarships to two middle school students who won his “Stop The Violence” essay contest, and this week Carama delivered a barrage of bars in “Nicest MC You Never Heard About,” the first single off of the project bearing the same name as his foundation.

Carama is a busy man with two 12-year-old daughters, and also organizes several long-running events in Kentucky, but he took the time out to talk to me about the goal and themes behind the “Believing In Forever” organization and album, Worldstar Hip Hop, violence in Chicago, and more.

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Breaking Silence: Former NBA Player Keyon Dooling Is Speaking Up About Sexual Abuse

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Keyon Dooling spent 13 years in the NBA contributing his talents to the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, and Memphis Grizzlies, demonstrating a longevity the majority of players aren’t lucky to have. But for almost twice that time, the 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Florida native was hiding something that plagued his life since his childhood.

In 2012, while expected to start a new season with the Boston Celtics, Dooling found himself in a psychiatric hospital dealing with post traumatic stress disorder from being sexually abused by an older boy in his neighborhood when Dooling was around only seven or eight years old. He had stayed silent about the abuse until he was 32 years old, and it appeared the effects would end his career for good.

Dooling returned briefly to play several games with the Grizzlies at the end of the 2012-13 season, but then retired, turning his focus to beating the impact of his own sexual abuse and helping other victims. In 2013 he founded the Respect Foundation to provide support and resources for victims of sexual abuse and last month he released a book titled What’s Driving You???in which he details the story of his abuse and how it affected his life and relationships going forward.

I sat down and spoke with Dooling as he shed some light on his own abuse, the challenges he and others affected by sexual abuse face, and shared his advice for ameliorating the issue. We also talked a little basketball as well. Check out the exclusive interview after the jump.

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New ID: Rob Regal Talks Name Change, New Project & Redskins Name Controversy

 

Under the rap alias Lyriciss, 26-year-old Rob Bailey spent an entire decade amassing fans, rocking stages in his home state of Maryland and across the nation, releasing three critically acclaimed full-length projects, and earning nods from hip hop giants like DJ Premier and Sway. So after giving the world his strongest body of work to date, The Balancein 2013, you might expect him to keep pushing Lyriciss to the masses. Instead, he’s wiped Lyriciss off the map like a man on the run, and in his place steps Rob Regal.

Regal is gearing up to release his next project, The Reflection, this fall, and just recently let go of the visuals for the title track and first offering from it, demonstrating a hunger and evidence that though Lyricss is gone, the lyricist is not. Sporting a new moniker and new focus from when I spoke with him nearly three years ago, I caught up with Rob Regal to chop it up about his plans going forward and just why he ditched his old identity.

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Illmatic Revisted: Interview With Brian Katz, Director of Nas’ “Represent” Video

 

Brian Katz hit the jackpot. Katz is a native New Yorker now working at a marketing agency in Los Angeles with no experience making music videos, but a contest by hip hop culture magazine Mass Appeal (for which Nas is listed as an associate publisher) gave Katz a shot at directing the latest visuals from Queensbridge’s own Nas, an artist Katz has been following since his own New York days as a teen two decades ago. To make it even sweeter, the contest called for treatments for a video for “Represent” off of Esco’s classic 1994 debut effort, Illmatic, with Nas himself picking a winner. 

The resulting product features Nas, more than 20 years older than the youthful Nasir Jones rapping on the track, sitting on a couch and smoking a cigar as film of a 1920s silent movie flashes around him, with shots of a young Mr. Jones interspersed throughout. Speaking from coast to coast, I talked on the phone with Katz to chop it up about the once-in-a-lifetime experience creating the video.

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